High-profile hotel investor, Dr Jerry Schwartz, says Australian hotels and resorts must use the current down-time to invest what they can in their properties and ensure they are up to standard for what he says will be a “golden period” over the next year.
Speaking exclusively to HM, Dr Schwartz said that while Australians are going to be limited to domestic travel, especially families, now was a great opportunity for resort operators to show they can match or exceed the standards offered by international resorts.
“While it is easy to understand that operators are feeling cash-strapped and therefore not extremely well-placed to invest in their own properties, conversely this is the best time to invest in an upgrade,” he said.
“We aren’t operating at full-capacity, refurbishments don’t cause as much disruption, and they are effectively catching the wave up. This could be a golden period for domestic tourism, but hotels have to be up to standard.”
Dr Schwartz was referring to his newest acquisition, Paradise Resort Gold Coast, which will next week reopen its doors following a major renovation which has resulted in upgrades to its room inventory, restaurants and recreational facilities popular with children and families. Further enhancements will include the addition of a miniature train and carousel, both due to be installed later this year. New restaurants including the Penguins family eatery, Jerry’s Burgers and Deb’s Pizza Shack will open along with a revamped poolside café and bar.
The Surfers Paradise hotel is now sporting a new-look lobby and reception backed by a large aquarium, with new facilities added including a games room, guest laundry and retail boutique. The hotel’s interiors and exteriors have been fully repainted, new WiFi installed, air-conditioning system upgraded and a new telephone system allowing free guest calls anywhere in Australia.
Along with a complete deep clean, the resort will also introduce 66 new rooms along with a special adults-only pool, bar and lounge for parents to utilise while their kids are busy with other activities.
Dr Schwartz said domestic tourism was well placed to capitalise once interstate borders were opened but that the industry was not going to win business “by default”, and that quality would remain key to securing guests.
“Australian travellers have gotten used to fully inclusive packages in the Pacific Islands and Asia, and that’s what we are competing against,” he said.
“Yes, we have incredible beaches and a brilliant climate, but Australian travellers have much more experience of travel these days so they want Australian hotels and resorts to offer more than just a comfortable bed.
At Paradise Resort there is an ice-skating rink, full theatre, massive water park, specialty family restaurants and so much more.
“What we promise [at Paradise Resort Gold Coast] is a holiday for both the kids and the adults. If the children are totally entertained, then the parents can relax, and so as part of the upgrade we are developing more adults’ facilities so they can fully chill out.
“Over the next year, travellers will want to revive and that means a far more immersive experience. Quality facilities, services and entertainment will be key.”